When does a mene begin and end?

There are two different models of how menes (“ends”, “rounds”) begin and end.

In the Standard Model there are two kinds of events. One event marks the end of a mene, and a different event marks the beginning of the next mene. Time may elapse between the end of one mene and the start of the next.

In the Dividing-Line Model there is a single event that divides one mene from the other. That event marks both the end of the previous mene and the start of the next mene.


The FIPJP rules use the Standard Model— a mene ends with the agreement of points and the next mene begins with the throw of the jack. We will look at the details of this model in a moment.

The Dividing-line Model is used only in time-limited games, and only for the purposes of deciding whether or not a new mene has started when the time-limit is announced (e.g. by the sound of a whistle or bell). The instant when the last boule of the mene finishes rolling (i.e. comes to a complete stop) is used as the dividing-line between the menes. In a time-limited game, if all boules have been thrown and team A is currently winning and knows the time-limit is near, team A may deliberately try to run out the clock rather than risk playing another mene. They may insist on measuring when measuring isn’t necessary, then measure slowly, and then take as long as possible to throw the jack. Using the moment that the last boule comes to rest to signal the start of the next mene stops such deliberate stalling.

Formerly the CEP (Eurocup) used the agreement of points as the dividing-line between menes in time-limited games, but now the CEP rule for time-limited games is: “A new end is considered to have started as soon as the last boule from the previous end has been played.” The Petanque New Zealand umpire’s guide is very clear in its description of the rule. “When the time signal is sounded,… if all boules of the end have been played and have come to a stop… that end has finished, (regardless of measuring and deciding points)… [and] you have officially started the new end… This rule applies only in timed games to determine how many ends remain to be played after the time signal is sounded. It is not used for any other purpose.”

Use of the Standard Model in the FIPJP rules.

For many years the start of a mene was marked by the successful throw of the jack, but with the 2016 version of the FIPJP rules, “A mene is considered to have started when the jack has been thrown regardless of the validity of the throw.”

(1) The One-Minute Rule
Article 21 contains the One-Minute Rule.

Once the jack is thrown, each player has the maximum duration of one minute to play his boule. This short period of time starts from the moment that the previously played boule or jack stops or, if it is necessary to measure a point, from the moment the latter [the measurement] has been accomplished. … The same requirements apply to the throwing of the jack.

Article 21 never uses the expression “the end of the mene”, but it says, basically, that a mene ends with the agreement of points. The one-minute timer starts ticking at the moment that the teams know which team should play next.

(2) A late-arriving player
Article 33 of the FIPJP rules says that when a player arrives late to the competition, he/she must wait until the start of the next mene before he/she may join the game.

(3) Prematurely picked-up boules
Article 27 says, in effect, that a mene ends with the agreement of points.
“It is forbidden for players to pick up played boules before the end of the mene. At the end of a mene, any boule picked up before the agreement of points is dead.”

(4) Waiting for the end of the mene in another game
Article 13 says, in effect, that a mene ends with the agreement of points.
“If, during a mene, the jack is displaced onto another game terrain… the players using this jack will wait for the end of the mene that was started by the players on the other game terrain, before finishing their own mene.”


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